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Vice President of University Advancement and President, SF State Foundation San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University (SF State), a comprehensive public university and iconic campus of the California State University system located in the heart of San Francisco, seeks an energetic, collaborative, and experienced fundraising professional to serve as the next Vice President of University Advancement and President of the SF State Foundation (vice president). The vice president will join SF State at a pivotal moment in its history as it nears the end of its successful first comprehensive campaign. This is an exceptional opportunity for a high-performing and accomplished individual to partner with President Lynn Mahoney early in her tenure to build on this critical momentum and advance the university. This search is a top priority for President Mahoney and the institution; an appointment is anticipated in early spring 2020.

San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world. Situated next to San Francisco Bay, the city is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and iconic landmarks that include the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. It is a top tourist destination, as well as a primary international banking and finance hub and economic powerhouse. San Francisco is also renowned for its activism. At the heart of civil rights, marriage equality, and HIV/AIDS advocacy movements, the city of San Francisco has continually been at the forefront of social change.

SF State reflects these values with a deep commitment to activism, social justice, and advocacy, while preparing students to be leaders of conviction and impact. The university serves as an intellectual and cultural hub for San Francisco and the Bay Area and a driver of social mobility, workforce and economic development, and progressive political change. SF State, which has one of the most ethnically diverse student bodies of any urban university, is a gateway for many, providing tremendous opportunity for those that need it most and playing a key role in building the regional workforce.

SF State is currently in the early stages of an era of transformational change on campus that includes numerous ambitious capital projects. Although the university is leveraging public/private partnerships and other delivery and funding mechanisms to implement these projects, growth on this scale will require considerable new philanthropic support. In addition, philanthropic support will be needed to fund new strategic priorities that will be identified through the next university-wide strategic planning process, which will form the basis for a subsequent comprehensive campaign.

Reporting to President Mahoney and serving as a member of her cabinet, the vice president will define a compelling vision for advancement and transform the existing program into one of unsurpassed effectiveness through team and capacity building, and the implementation of best practice fundraising strategies, clear and achievable goals, accountability measures, and data-informed decision making. Although university leadership has invested additional resources in advancement over the course of the current campaign, there remains much work ahead in order to enable advancement to fully support achievement of the university’s potential.

SF State faculty and students make significant contributions to knowledge that can help solve key local, regional, and global challenges. While SF State has historically focused on its alumni for philanthropic support, its location in the Bay Area presents philanthropic opportunities that extend well beyond the university’s alumni population. There is significant opportunity to enhance the university’s visibility and image, and increase public awareness of its contributions. The vice president will play a key role in this effort, and will bring a thoughtful, energetic, and entrepreneurial approach to building new and leveraging existing relationships in the region and around the world, and to position the president and key institutional leaders to connect with philanthropists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and alumni who are not currently engaged with the university.

Success for the next vice president will, in part, be defined by their ability to engage all members of the SF State community – current and emeriti deans, faculty, and staff, students, alumni, parents, volunteers, and senior administrators – in advancement efforts, leading the team in a fair and equitable manner and inspiring them to meet aggressive goals. The vice president will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the existing program and will design and implement a road map for substantial, sustainable long-term philanthropic growth. Specifically, the vice president will strengthen the infrastructure and organization of advancement, fostering a strong, collaborative team environment and improving integration across the various functions of advancement, including strategic marketing and communications, development, government and community relations, alumni engagement, and advancement services.    In addition, the vice president will lead by example, personally participating in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of high-level donors and prospects, and will become an active and visible member of the SF State and local communities. The vice president will lead with transparency, authenticity, and humility.

The next vice president will be an accomplished, imaginative advancement professional with at least seven years of leadership experience in advancement, constituency engagement, and campaign management, ideally in a complex higher education environment. Ideal candidates must possess the highest integrity and a demonstrated commitment to the highest ethical standards; strong analytical, managerial, and strategic planning skills; a keen understanding of best practices in advancement; a comprehensive knowledge of all major advancement functions; and a track record of significant personal success in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship at principal gift levels. The successful candidate will be a seasoned team leader adept at recruiting, retaining, motivating, leveraging, and advocating for staff and facilitating team success. The candidate must demonstrate a high level of integrity and trust; and exhibit the credibility, maturity, and sophistication to effectively engage and partner with key internal and external stakeholders. Ideal candidates must possess extraordinary communication and negotiation skills, the political savvy, flexibility, and cultural agility to navigate a complex academic community, and the desire and ability to build bridges and strong, genuine, and collaborative relationships across a university with a diverse body of alumni and constituents. The successful candidate will have a deep understanding of and passion for the mission and goals of SF State. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

In accordance with its core values and mission, SF State is especially interested in recruiting members from diverse and underrepresented communities and individuals with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Rachel Ellenport is leading this search with Elizabeth Neustaedter, Jean Jacoby, Becky Piper, Kavita Mannan, and Molly Gallagher.

San Francisco State University celebrates all forms of diversity and is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment within which students, staff, administrators, and faculty thrive. Individuals interested in advancing the University’s strategic diversity goals are strongly encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.

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